Chapter News

Results of the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters in the first quarter of 2021

  • Shorter-term inflation expectations largely unchanged; longer-term inflation expectations unchanged at 1.7%
  • Opposing revisions to real GDP growth outlook, with near-term forecasts revised down but stronger rebound envisaged thereafter
  • Unemployment rate expectations revised down across all horizons

Respondents to the European Central Bank (ECB) Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the first quarter of 2021 reported point forecasts for annual HICP inflation averaging 0.9%, 1.3% and 1.5% for 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively. These were unchanged for both 2021 and 2022. Average longer-term inflation expectations (which, like all other longer-term expectations in this round of the SPF, refer to 2025) remained at 1.7%.

The expectations of SPF respondents for euro area real GDP growth averaged 4.4%, 3.7% and 1.9% for 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively. These figures represent revisions from the previous round amounting to -0.9 percentage points for 2021 and +1.1 percentage points for 2022. Average longer-term expectations for real GDP growth were unchanged at 1.4%.

Average unemployment rate expectations stood at 8.9%, 8.3% and 7.8% for 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively. These represent downward revisions of 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points for 2021 and 2022. Expectations for the unemployment rate in the longer term were revised down 0.2 percentage points to 7.4%.

Table: Results of the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters for the first quarter of 2021
(annual percentage changes, unless otherwise indicated)
         
Survey horizon 2021 2022 2023 Longer term (1)
HICP inflation        
Q1 2021 SPF 0.9 1.3 1.5 1.7
Previous SPF (Q4 2020) 0.9 1.3 1.7
HICP inflation excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco      
Q1 2021 SPF 0.8 1.1 1.3 1.5
Previous SPF (Q4 2020) 0.8 1.1 1.5
Real GDP growth      
Q1 2021 SPF 4.4 3.7 1.9 1.4
Previous SPF (Q4 2020) 5.3 2.6 1.4
Unemployment rate (2)      
Q1 2021 SPF 8.9 8.3 7.8 7.4
Previous SPF (Q4 2020) 9.1 8.4 7.6
1) Longer-term expectations refer to 2025.

2) As a percentage of the labour force.

Contact:

  • Stefan Ruhkamp | e: stefan.ruhkamp@ecb.europa.eu | tel.: +49 69 1344 5057).

Compliments of the ECB.